Film Series: Acts of Faith
December 14 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
One event on October 26, 2018 at 6:30pm
One event on November 16, 2018 at 6:30pm
One event on December 14, 2018 at 6:30pm
The series Acts of Faith showcases films that depict a wide variety of religious rituals across cultures, ranging from individual acts of devotion to community-wide sacred practices. The selections range from ethnographic documentaries, to fictional narratives, to experiments in cinematic form.
October 19, 2018
Lourdes (dir. Jessica Hausner, 2010, Austria)
Shot on location in Lourdes, France, Hausner’s contemplative film stars Sylvie Testud as a young woman with multiple sclerosis who visits the world-famous shrine. The film becomes a near-documentary portrait of the rituals of pilgrimage as enacted by 21st century worshippers. In the New York Times, Manhola Dargis praised Testud’s “minutely detailed performance” in this “intelligent, rigorously thoughtful, somewhat sly film.”
October 26, 2018
Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (dir. Freida Lee Mock, 1994, USA)
Mock’s Academy Award-winning documentary profiles Maya Lin, the architect and artist who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC; remarkably, Lin’s design was chosen when she was still a 21 year old undergraduate. Mock’s emotionally engaging film recounts the struggles around Lin’s controversial design, as well as its ultimate popularity as a site of personal remembrance.
November 16, 2018
Ex Voto (dir. Tania Cypriano, 1990, Brazil)
Crosswalk (dir. Jeanne Liotta, 2010, USA)
Visions de Lourdes (dir. Charles De Keukelaire, 1932, Belgium)
Mammy Water (dir. Jean Rouch, 1956, France) “Courtesy of Icarus Films”
Sons of Shiva (dir. Robert Gardner and Ákos Östör, 1985, USA)
Mixing artists’ films with ethnographic cinema, this program features a variety of approaches to envisioning public acts of faith. In Ex Voto, artist Tania Cypriano uses video itself as a votary medium, while Jeanne Liotta’s Crosswalk expressively documents a Catholic procession on the Lower East Side, and Charles Dekeukeleire’s quasi-surrealist film visits the structures surrounding the shrine at Lourdes. Mammy Water and Sons of Shiva depict community-wide rituals in Ghana and West Bengal, respectively, conveying the aesthetic and devotional power of such large-scale, communal events. Followed by a conversation on filmmaking and faith between Liotta and curator Ed Halter.
December 14, 2018
The Secret Nation (dir. Jorge Sanjinés and the Ukamau Group, 1989, Bolivia)
Set against the turbulent backdrop of a military coup, this groundbreaking feature film—among the first ever shot in the indigenous languages of Bolivia—-follows Sebastian Maisman (Reynaldo Yujra), who returns to his former Aymara village after life in the city but ultimately disgraces his community. As a rite of expiation, he journeys to his homeland once more and enacts the ancient Jacha Tata Danzanti, a ceremony in which the performer dances himself to death as a sacrificial offering.